Petersen/ White Lightning Takes Two Spots in Porsche Cup Top-5
LAS VEGAS, Nev., December 20, 2004 -- Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing was well represented on Saturday evening at the Porsche Motorsports Banquet in Weissach, Germany. The highlight of the evening was the awarding of this year's Porsche Cup where Petersen/ White Lightning drivers took two of the top-five positions. The annual award is given to highest finishing privateer Porsche driver based on a graduated point system across multiple international series. Two-year Petersen/ White Lightning driver Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) was honored with second-place in the prestigious Porsche Cup rankings while co-driver David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) was awarded fourth. The Michael Petersen-owned team was also celebrated at the event for giving Porsche its sixth consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans Grand Touring (GT) title with a 911 GT3-based race car. The success of the Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR added to the team's Porsche tradition that includes the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans GT title and GT victories at the 2001 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 1998 Six Hours of the Glen and the 2003 Road America 500.
Stanton, who has one ALMS GT2 (formerly GT) class victory with Petersen/ White Lightning, compiled 8,510 points in the three series in which he drove Porsche 911-based race cars in 2004. Included in that tally were six GT podium finishes in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with Murry, the 2004 Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport (GS) championship- including six victories- in a Porsche 996 and a Grand American Rolex Series Super Grand Sport (SGS) win in a 911 GT3 Cup entry also with Murry. Murry, a former Porsche factory driver at Le Mans who also holds one GT2 class ALMS victory, finished fourth in the 2004 Porsche Cup with 7,515 points. Team manager Dale White and crew chief Stefan Pfeiffer traveled to Weissach- an hour from Porsche's International headquarters in Stuttgart- where they witnessed the team's 2004 driver line-up take home a combined ^a36,000 ($47,862). Stanton was also awarded a commemorative wristwatch for his Grand-Am Cup championship. Stanton and Murry were two of 15 drivers invited to Germany to take part in the celebration. Nearly 1,000 people attended the formal banquet.
Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing competed in its first full season of ALMS racing in 2004. Over the course of the nine-race season, the Las Vegas-based race team finished on the GT class podium six times including two second-places (Mosport and Road America) and earned four IMSA Cup awards. It finished third in the GT class championship and second in the season-long IMSA Cup given to the highest finishing privateer team in each class. Murry and Stanton tied for fifth in the ALMS driver championship. The team traveled to France to win the pole position and the LM GT class at world-renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The victory was the team's second in only two attempts.
Dale White: "Over the last few years, coming to Stuttgart for the banquet has become a holiday tradition for me. To come and spend time with our friends at Porsche without the pressures of a race weekend is something that I look forward to all year long. 2004 was a very good year for the Petersen/ White Lightning program with the Le Mans victory and a successful season in the ALMS. To see both Craig and David finish in the top-five of the Porsche Cup was very rewarding for our part in that. This was, by far, the most gratifying year that we have attended the banquet. Mike and I want to give our sincerest congratulations to Craig and David for their results and to Stephane Ortelli for winning this year's Porsche Cup. Also, our thanks to Porsche for all their support this year."
Craig Stanton: "This was really pretty darn cool. There were people from all over the world and it was really quite an honor just to be asked to attend. To be singled-out twice, first for the GS class victory and then for second in the Porsche Cup standings was really, really special to me. To have my wife Joy there with me, and Dale, Stefan and David was truly special. I just wish the entire Petersen/ White Lightning team and all the guys from all the crews I raced with this year could have been there. They made this all possible for me. This was my first time to come to Weissach and to be a part of this; to get to sit there right across from Roland Kussmaul (lead Porsche Motorsports engineer) and his wife will be something that I will always, always remember."
David Murry: "I always enjoy going to the Porsche Motorsports banquet at the end of the season. After Le Mans in 1998 when I drove for the factory and over the years with Porsche, I have made quite a lot of friends in Porsche AG. It is a great time to visit with them without being at a busy race weekend. I have especially enjoyed and felt honored to witness Alwin Springer retiring last year and Norbert Singer this year. You realize as it's happening that history is being made. I am really looking forward to getting back in the race car next year."
For more, please visit www.petersenmotorsports.com.